Friday, July 19, 2024
Smart Phones

These 13 Android apps are capable of taking over your phone; delete them now!


Here we go again. The McAfee Mobile Research Team (via BGR) has discovered 25 apps that contained the Xamalicious malware. Some of these apps were installed directly from the Google Play Store and Google removed them even before McAfee publicly disclosed their names. Most Xamalicious-infected apps are found in the following categories: games, health, horoscope, and productivity.
If you don’t believe that Apple is against sideloading for security reasons and simply doesn’t want to miss out on collecting the 30% Apple Tax, read this slowly. While Google did remove the Xamalicious-infected apps from the Play Store, McAfee says that most of the apps are still available on third-party Android app stores. Going back to comments made by the late Steve Jobs, Apple has made it clear that allowing apps to be sideloaded takes these apps out of Apple’s purview preventing it from keeping infected apps out of your iPhone. End of sermon.

Apps infected with the Xamalicious malware use “social engineering” to gain accessibility privileges allowing the user’s device to communicate with a command-and-control server all without the device owner knowing. At that point, a second payload is downloaded to the phone that will “take full control of the device and potentially perform fraudulent actions such as clicking on ads, installing apps among other actions financially motivated without user consent.”

While the infected apps are no longer available in the Play Store, if you’ve already installed the apps you need to uninstall them immediately. The 13 apps removed from the Google Play Store include:
  • Essential Horoscope for Android – 100,000 downloads
  • 3D Skin Editor for PE Minecraft – 100,000 downloads
  • Logo Maker Pro – 100,000 downloads
  • Auto Click Repeater – 10,000 downloads
  • Count Easy Calorie Calculator – 10,000 downloads
  • Sound Volume Extender – 5,000 downloads
  • LetterLink – 1,000 downloads
  • NUMEROLOGY: PERSONAL HOROSCOPE &NUMBER PREDICTIONS – 1,000 downloads
  • Step Keeper: Easy Pedometer – 500 downloads
  • Track Your Sleep – 500 downloads
  • Sound Volume Booster – 100 downloads
  • Astrological Navigator: Daily Horoscope & Tarot – 100 downloads
  • Universal Calculator – 100 downloads
Three of the apps have been installed over 100,000 times and two have over 10,000 installs. So do yourself a favor and go through your apps and make sure that you don’t have any of these titles on your Android phone. You might have malware on your Android handset if you notice that your phone is running hot at inappropriate times and your battery is draining too fast.
The Xamalicious malware is used to turn your phone into a money making device for cyber-criminals. Don’t let this happen to your phone. All you have to do is scan the list of apps installed on your Android device for the 13 titles listed above. If there’s a match, uninstall those apps immediately.



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